Friday, January 29th, 2010 at 11:17 am  |  21 responses

2009-’10 Rookies Most Likely To*…

*Before Blake Griffin got Clipperized.

by Ben Osborne

Wednesday’s announcement of the Rookie Challenge rosters was my latest reminder that I had yet to post our annual “Rookies Most Likely To…” Feature, which ran in SLAM #133. It wasn’t laziness, though–for the most part I’d delayed things on account of Blake Griffin’s injury-caused tumble from leading vote getter to see you next season. Combine Blake’s fate being finalized with the timeliness of the Rookie Challenge participants, and the timing was finally right. rookies09

We’ve all got Brandon and Tyreke fever these days, but looking at these picks is a reminder of just how hopeful everyone was about Blake just over three months ago.

Rookies Most Likely To…

Whether their impact proves to be large or not, there is some fresh new blood joining the League this season, and, as always, we’re guessing who’s going to be the best of them. And the worst. Yes, we rounded off.

Voters: Cub Buenning, Franklyn Calle, Adam Fleischer, Ryan Jones, Ryne Nelson, Ben Osborne, Dennis Page, Susan Price, Khalid Salaam, Aggrey Sam, Bonsu Thompson, Tzvi Twersky, Lang Whitaker

Average 20 points:
Blake Griffin: 54 percent
Tyreke Evans: 31 percent
Stepen Curry: 15 percent
“On a team void of any real frontcourt punch, the athletic Griffin will find space and quality shots from the opening tip.”—Cub Buenning

Average 10 rebounds:
Blake Griffin: 92 percent
Jordan Hill: 8 percent
“As the prized first overall pick, Griffin’s rebounding numbers rely on a few givens: athleticism, plenty of burn, and Baron Davis’ shooting percentage.”—Adam Fleischer

Average 10 assists:
Brandon Jennings: 54 percent
Jonny Flynn: 15 percent
Eric Maynor, Ricky Rubio (in Spain), Tyreke Evans, Ty Lawson: 8 percent
“For Brandon Jennings, getting assists this year compared to last should be like the difference between jogging in water and on dry ground. As long as Coach Skiles gives him the ball and lets him play, the NBA’s more liberal scorekeepers should help Young Money rack up the assists.”—Ben Osborne

Unfairly get bench splinters:

Eric Maynor: 23 percent
Austin Daye: 15 percent
Sam Young, Jordan Hill, Jonny Flynn, DeMar DeRozen, Christian Eyenga, Ty Lawson, Jeff Teague, Wayne Ellington: 8 percent
“Though the Olympics taught us that Deron Williams can be on the court with another PG (Chris Paul), we won’t see much of that this year, as Coach Sloan forces a pro-ready Maynor to learn from the pine.”—Tzvi Twersky

Lead the League in turnovers:
Brandon Jennings: 31 percent
Tyreke Evans: 23 percent
Eric Maynor, James Harden, Stephen Curry, Jrue Holiday, Jonny Flynn, Hasheem Thabeet: 8 percent
“Following a year of pro apprenticeship in Italy, expect the outgoing rookie to be a bit more subdued (kinda like his presence on the ‘Net, after his Twitter and Joe Buddens episodes) on the floor, but anybody who’s seen him ball at length recognizes his passion for flashin’, and despite taskmaster Scott Skiles at Milwaukee’s helm, equal parts exciting and erratic play will likely be the Compton product’s rookie recipe.”—Aggrey Sam

Lead the League in blocks:
Hasheem Thabeet: 100 percent
“Because, well, lets face it: Blocking shots is his entire selling point right now. He’ll focus on at least getting this right, won’t he?”—Khalid Salaam

Be Rookie of the Year:
Blake Griffin: 54 percent
Tyreke Evans: 23 percent
Brandon Jennings, Jonny Flynn, Stephen Curry: 8 percent
“Since 1980, all but three ROYs have been top 5 picks and played top 2 minutes their rookie season. Suffice to say this unanimous all-everything has the odds in his favor.”—Ryne Nelson

Hurt himself running laps:
Tyler Hansbrough and BJ Mullens: 23 percent
Austin Daye and DeJuan Blair: 15 percent
James Harden, Jonas Jerebko, Hasheem Thabeet: 8 percent
“My suspicion is that Mullens will trip and fall on his mustache. Once he shaves it, we can talk.”—Lang Whitaker

Fade into obscurity:
Tyler Hansbrough: 23 percent
Gerald Henderson and BJ Mullens and Ricky Rubio: 15 percent
Earl Clark, Christian Eyenga, Stephen Curry, Jrue Holiday: 8 percent
“Those upchuck shots Tyler built his collegiate career upon will be blockshot candy in the A.”—Bonsu Thompson

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  • http://slamonline.com Adam Fleischer

    Damn. At least I was right about Baron’s shooting percentage.

  • slimlim6000

    No one is this class is gonna average 10 rebounds…Blake is next years rookie now

  • http://www.behindtheback.webeden.co.uk Sam Raphael Chadwick

    slimlim6000 – I know you say Blake Griffen will be ROY next year and I hope he is but depending on where John Wall ends up next season and if Blake can regain his form after injury i reckon it will be a two horse race

  • http://slamonline.com Ben Osborne

    Feeling good about Brandon’s assists. slimlim6000, “average 10″ is designed to be synonymous with “lead.”

  • jumpman3224

    Reke is def. in the lead for ROY at the half way point. Good call on him gettin 20 ppg. Glad to see Jennings doing so well distributing. Over the summer he was getting a lot of mixed hate/love by posters on here (speaking of which my cube would look sweet with a jennings Slam Up). One guy in particular said he’d be shocked if he average more than 3 dimes per game. He just needs to get his jumper more consistent and he will be an all-star in this league.

  • http://myspace.com/rsaenz24 RoG23

    i wonder why most teams who get 1st draft pick wont trade it. portland shouldve done it with boston for al jeff etc. but blake will be good though. clips are decent with/without him playing. i would swap for that turkish guy from toronto.

  • JoeMaMa

    Bonsu Thompson is dead wrong. Sincerely, not even a Hansbrough fan.

  • onlyclipsfanonslam

    my heart…. it hurts :(

  • slimlim6000

    6.3 and 6.6 boards from Gibson and Blair Respectively…these guys are 6’9″ and Blair is like 6’7″…this rookie class is known for the 2nd round tho…Blair and Jerebko go along with potentials in Budinger, Summers, Pendegraph and Cunningham…i dunno who called it a weak class, but def not looking so weak.
    Sam – Camby is gonna be old, so look for Blake to fill in there. John Wall’s chances of going to New Jersey are the highest…he seems to fit right in, considering Devin Harris might be on his way out. I’d also like to add Evan Turner to the mix, he’s something special…say…a PF in an SG body who can run the floor?

  • Young C

    What You Guys Should Do Is Make Another One Of These At The All-Star Break

  • David

    …and when the season ends and the awards are given out, we should compare the predictions against the actual results.

  • http://slamonline.com Shem

    Thabeet will fade into obscurity. He’s averaging 3 points, 3 rebounds and a block… I thought he was 7’3 and get 4 blocks a game with 10 boards and like 8 points while being up there for DPOY.. guess not

  • Jon


    Totally agree. Imagine if they selected Evans with that pick. I don’t understand how to media labels Thabeet/Rubio as the sure 2nd pick and it would seem whoever didn’t select them would be idiots. It’s as if Grizz were pressured into selecting him. Hopefully he’ll have a Camby-like career.

  • John

    It’s only a matter of time before Maynor becomes a starter somewhere in the NBA and rocks the house.

  • ab_40

    yeah behind russel westbrook maynor is gonna have a lot of PT

    if it were last years gasol thabeet would get 20 mpg but this is the new improved marc gasol and he and randolph are doing great together. Thabeet doesn’t look happy but he’ll get a spot somewhere as long as he keeps on working on his moves and strength PT will come. tyler hansbrough isn’t a basketball player stephen jackson said it and I’ll say it too dude needs to play rugby or something just run hit people and kick and throw a ball.

  • therighttoremainsalient

    sorry but, blake griffin will never be a ROY. his rookie year his NOW and he aint playing….

  • tavoris

    @ therighttoremainsalient-you realize he hasn’t played this season, right? Next season will be his first season playing, which makes him eligible for ROY voting.

  • tavoris

    Brandon Jennings reminds me of Nick Van Exel. Nothing more, nothing less…

  • Luke Morgan

    Jonny Flynn is my opinion of getting rookie of the year……………or Brandon Jennings.

  • http://thacorner.net Kevin

    DeJuan Blair would get ROY if he had more minutes

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